Friday, February 25, 2011

Roasted Beets with Citrus and Feta

I am currently on a road trip and sitting in one of the grimier motels I've ever been in. There are 5 strip clubs down the street and several shady-looking dudes loitering around the building. Welcome to the ghetto part of San Diego. I'm also thinking that it would be very nice if I had something light and tasty to munch on (twizzler pull-n-peels get a bit old after two days of pulling and peeling). Something citrusy. Something juicy. Like this salad.
I have a strange relationship with beets. Some days I love them; other days the mere thought of beets makes me gag just a little. The day I made this salad was an excellent beet day. And I bet you wouldn't have thought to combine citrus and beets and feta and barley, but it really is an excellent match, I assure you.

There was one tricky-ish part of this salad, and that was sectioning the fruit. You want it to be free of the membrane-like skin that you get when you peel it. The best way to do this is to cut the fruit into sections opposite of how you would to open a grapefruit (from pole-to-pole rather than around the equator, if it were the earth). Then cut the peel off and cut the fruit into smaller chunks. You might want to try a few pieces to make sure they taste ok. ;)
This salad is a delicious punch of color and flavor. Now at the time I made this, I was obsessed with the idea of including cooked barley in my salads. But as Caroline was skeptical, we held off at first. I made myself two plates of salad- one with and one without barley. I really liked the one without the barley, but I loved the one with barley. And so after listening to my raving, my husband tried it. And then Caroline's husband. And then we finally convinced her to try it. This is what she has to say about it: "After going back for seconds of this delightful salad I braved adding barley. Turned out the addition of barley didn't alter the flavor all that much, but added a new texture that was welcome."
So I suggest that you try the barley. But either way, it's a pretty awesome salad.

Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus and Feta 
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit February 2011
Pictures by Caroline

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit peel
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Whisk vinegar, mustard, citrus peels, and honey in small bowl. gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 4 2 1/2-inch-diameter unpeeled beets, tops trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 2 small pink or ruby grapefruits
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup cooked barley (optional)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets and oil in large bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each beet in foil. Place directly on oven rack and roast until tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Open foil and cool. Rub skins off beets; slice each beet and then cut slices in half. 
  2. Cut oranges and grapefruits into about 8 wedges, trying not to cut along the natural sections. Then "skin" the fruit off of the rind. Cut into smaller 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Place spinach in large bowl; toss with a few tablespoons vinaigrette. Add orange and grapefruit slices, barley (if using), and cheese. Serve with additional cheese and vinaigrette, if desired. 


amy said...

I have made a similar salad, although I used quinoa instead of barley. I served it kind of layered, with mixed greens on the base and then quinoa, and then the roasted beets (I used pears, not grapefruit, but I bet the grapefruit is excellent). Drizzled it with a simple orange vinaigrette I found on Martha Stewart's website and a sprinkle of crumbled feta and pecans.

I love salad.

The Garcias said...

This looks like something I should be trying very soon! The flavors sounds like they would be awesome together!

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